ZRH - I didn't feel safe

Old Jun 13, 07, 9:40 pm
  #1  
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ZRH - I didn't feel safe

Hi,

I had a stopover in ZRH recently for a flight to the US on Swiss.
The alarm went off when I walked through the metal detector - I forgot my wallet. So I handed my wallet to the security guy, and guess what - he didn't make me walk through the scanner again without it, nor did he bother to check my wallet or give me a physical. All the while, my backpack went through the X-Ray while the guys were chatting and not really paying attention. And this before an US-bound flight.....
I know some people on this forum think the whole security is smoke and mirrors, but I really felt unsafe. Anybody had similar experiences?
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Old Jun 13, 07, 10:18 pm
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I'm curious about why you "really felt unsafe."

To borrow from one of my favorite bdschobelisms: Are you afraid that your bags suddenly held guns and bombs or that you had secreted guns and bombs on your person? In short, did you think that you suddenly became a dangerous criminal/terrorist and that the failure of the ZRH security officials to catch you was a real-life security lapse?

Yeah - I know what you meant: That if they were so lackadaisical in screening you, imagine the guns and bombs that they must let thru the checkpoint when they're screening everyone else, right?

Truth is, it's a tremendously large haystack, and most days it contains no needles. You and your bags didn't hide any needles, and quite possibly nobody else in the entire world hid any needles that day either.

Bottom line: You were screened, and the security personnel in ZRH felt you posed no realistic risk. Sounds like they may be better at practicing risk management than the TSA here. TSA really knows nothing about risk management - their SOP generally revolves around risk-avoidance, along with anal procedures to double/triple check that nobody, no one EVER has any prohibited items. Of course, the TSA's monumental failure (which the screeners will never admit) is that their stupid procedures probably result in more prohibited items getting thru than the more sane procedures practiced in ZRH (and many other worldwide cities).
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Old Jun 13, 07, 10:31 pm
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Personally I'd be glad the the security officer decided to keep the lines moving and not waste any more time on something that is not a threat.

I'd personally feel safer in ZRH than I would in the US or the UK (or any EU airport that takes these rules seriously) where they waste so much time on stupid things like liquids that people have been able to get more serious banned items through either accidentially or deliberately.

Then again, do you feel unsafe getting on a train where they don't screen you before you board and hopefully never will? Life is full of risks, you need to analyse which ones are really worth worrying about.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 1:05 am
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Many metal detectors indicate where the detected metal is. If it was detected in the same area as your wallet and you produced the wallet then they already knew that was what set the machine off. Your reaction was also likely a factor in letting you go. Whatever metal you had in the wallet is of little use in trying to take over an aircraft. Don't worry -- the security theatre will find another player soon enough...
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Old Jun 14, 07, 1:10 am
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Just curious, but... do you carry metal in your wallet?

--J
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Old Jun 14, 07, 1:19 am
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You should feel safe..

Also, remember that the security guys have indicators on the machine as to how much metal you have on you. If the sensor went off while just a "notch" above the threshhold, they would know. Had you been carrying a fire arm/heavy metal, you could be sure you'd be set aside.

Now if you mentioned KWI....


UG
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Old Jun 14, 07, 1:28 am
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unsafe in ZRH? I'm still laughing.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 3:25 am
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The real question is: "Were you safe?" NOT "Did you FEEL safe?"
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Old Jun 14, 07, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by jcf27 View Post
Just curious, but... do you carry metal in your wallet?
Hello? Coins maybe?

SmilingBoy.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 6:08 am
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Whenever you feel unsafe, click your heels together and repeat to yourself "There's no place like home! There's no place like home!" That should do the trick.

Feeling safe is important. In the US, we've devised this huge apparatus to make people feel safe. Just don't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 8:19 am
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Let me get this straight

I know I WAS safe - no doubt about it. I didn't have to click heels, thanks very much.
And yes, wallets contain little round objects made of metal. We call them "coins".
Anyhow, I think the anal shenanigans in the US and what I experienced on that day in ZRH are two ends of the spectrum. And I, for one, would like things to be in the middle of that spectrum.
I understand the guy realized it was just stuff in my wallet. What I don't understand is why the other guys were busy chatting away while people's luggage moved through the X-Ray pretty much unnoticed. But I guess that's again just my stupidity.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by cj001f View Post
unsafe in ZRH? I'm still laughing.
Me, too. ZRH is one place that takes a much more rational approach than others.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by SmilingBoy View Post
Hello? Coins maybe?

SmilingBoy.
Or money clips.
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Old Jun 14, 07, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by galileo View Post
... he didn't make me walk through the scanner again... Anybody had similar experiences?
Precisely the same, but with a pack of gum, about 2 years ago at ZRH. The guy wanded the gum, and let me go. I later sent an email to airport police via their website asking about this, and they responded to me indicating that the agent had not followed SOP and that they would review the SOP with their staff.... So much for that!
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Old Jun 14, 07, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by okazon69 View Post
Precisely the same, but with a pack of gum, about 2 years ago at ZRH. The guy wanded the gum, and let me go. I later sent an email to airport police via their website asking about this, and they responded to me indicating that the agent had not followed SOP and that they would review the SOP with their staff.... So much for that!
I'm glad you decided to report this, wanding the gum was just a total waste of everybodies time. He should have realised that it was no threat and let you through without the hassle.
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